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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Piranha Bytes and JoWooD Go Separate Ways

Default Piranha Bytes and JoWooD Go Separate Ways

May 22nd, 2007, 18:44
Here´s a shocking PR found via World of Gothic on the official Pluto 13 GmbH / Piranha Bytes homepage:
(Intro, transl.):
"Piranha Bytes and JoWooD go separate ways in the future. The future of our brand Gothic is at present unclear."
(linked PDF, full German PR except the usual filler):
Piranha Bytes und JoWooD gehen getrennte Wege
Essen, 22.05.2007 Nach dem endgültigen Scheitern der Verhandlungen über eine Fortsetzung der GOTHIC ® Serie sind Piranha Bytes gezwungen, sich anderweitig zu orientieren. Welche Titel in näherer Zukunft unter dem Namen GOTHIC veröffentlicht werden, ist derzeit völlig unklar.
Die seit November 2006 geführten Verhandlungen haben am Ende nicht zu einem für beide Seiten akzeptablen Ergebnis geführt.

Piranha Bytes können den von der Community vielfach geäußerten Wünschen nach inhaltlichen Veränderungen im Rahmen eines Patches nicht mehr nachkommen. Es war angedacht, diesen Patch als Nebenprodukt während der Entwicklung eines AddOns oder eines weiteren Teiles (sowohl als Beigabe zu diesen Produkten als auch als free Download) zur Verfügung zu stellen.
Here is a quick and dirty unofficial translation. We´ll post an update if we receive something official. It´s quite probable that JoWooD as a public company will issue their own PR.
Piranha Bytes and JoWooD to go separate ways

Essen, May 22 - 2007 After the final termination of negotiations over a continuation of the Gothic series, Piranha Bytes are forced to move in other directions. Which titles are to be published under the Gothic brand in the nearer future is totally unclear at this point in time.

The negotiations which were held since November 2006 did not lead to an acceptable result for any of the parties involved.

Piranha Bytes can not meet the demands of the community by releasing a major patch with content-related changes. The original idea was to develop this patch as a side-project along with an add-on or a further title (and to provide the patch as a free download as well as to include it with the boxes of said products).
More information.
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May 22nd, 2007, 18:44
Well that is a downer. I hope they still find som magical way to bring out the patch though.
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May 22nd, 2007, 19:00
This is definitely unfortunate, and likely the death of the Gothic brand in the US market. Everyone who went out and bought the game (G3) based on recommendations from people like me and glowing G2 reviews was very disappointed at the lousy performance and lack of polish, and had hoped for something to get the game up to snuff. Most won't give them another shot.

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May 22nd, 2007, 19:00
JoWood is working on an official statement of their own as we speak, according to Assistant Community Manager Glockenbeat.
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May 22nd, 2007, 19:28
This is disappointing, especially as far as a Gothic 3 patch seeing the light of day, but not entirely surprising.
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May 22nd, 2007, 19:38
Sad news indeed.

My guess is that JoWood wouldn't finance continued work on the patch (among other disagreements, I'm sure). I still hope to see them release something along the lines of a patch, even if it's just giving us what they've got done so far. I mean, something's better than nothing.

This could be a blessing in disguise. Personally, I've never really forgiven JoWood for the fiasco over how long it took to get an English language version of NOTR (I know, Atari was partially responsible, bot not totally). Add to that the fact that they pushed PB to release G3 before they were ready and you might start to think it was time for a change. Maybe PB will get a better publisher now.

Although, I think PB has some work to do on that new game engine if they're going to stick with it for their next project. I only say that because they alluded that some of the problems with G3 were because of the new engine.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Last edited by Cleric; May 22nd, 2007 at 20:00.
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May 22nd, 2007, 19:45
sad news, sad news indeed. Lets cross or fingers that PB will still deliver

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May 22nd, 2007, 19:57
Unfortunately my concerns have been right, when I critized this last JoWood statement following the "patch rumours". Sad, but true. Hopefully it's not the end of the support. But I fear they will leave this to community.

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May 22nd, 2007, 20:19
JoWooD just announced Gothic 4. Translation pending.
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May 22nd, 2007, 20:20
uhm how can they make G4 without PB?

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May 22nd, 2007, 20:33
probably by another studio, most publishers get the ip rights
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May 22nd, 2007, 20:39
http://www.worldofgothic.de/

Wow, what a day! Different developer, console market, .. do you need any more keywords? How did they get their hands on the IP?

Farewell Gothic, thank you, Piranhabytes for all that has been.
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May 22nd, 2007, 21:09
I did not see it coming… Sad news.
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May 22nd, 2007, 22:00
Does this mean that the Gothic series has basically gone the way of the Fallout series?

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May 22nd, 2007, 22:00
Please discuss Gothic 4 in the announcement thread nearby.
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May 22nd, 2007, 22:26
Crash and burn. RIP Gothic, I never knew ya.
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May 22nd, 2007, 23:23
Told you yesterday it'd happen :-(. Too bad. It's like a variation on the Troika story.
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May 22nd, 2007, 23:28
This is indeed sad news

Sometimes these things happen - and we cannot do anything about it - other than try getting through the stormy, muddy & murky waters as well as the gails that are blowing to us from afar. (sorry about the naval expression, but I'm out of fishermen kin ).

I don't know, nor does anyone really, if the Gothic series have gone the way of the Fallouts i.e. into oblivion or not. Personally, I hope that this is not the case.
As for why this has happened I don't know, neither does anyone I guess. At best it can be a qualified guess, so here's mine.

Jowood and PB wanted to make a pacth, but jowood wanted the patch (only) to be on the add-on for G3, so that Jowood made money. PB didn't want this as they've promised the fans & the community to deliver the patch free of charge. Or maybe jowood would release the patch to the community, but wouldn't pay PB for their time spent making the patch.

I hope PB finds another publisher, and makes another game
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May 22nd, 2007, 23:55
You could just smell that coming. I always stand on the side of developer… Go PB!!! you can certainly bit off a much bigger chunk…I want a brand new story with a named heroin FGS, hire a few chicks with looks and brains, your creativity and productivity will skyrockert. Best wishes.

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May 22nd, 2007, 23:57
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
At best it can be a qualified guess, so here's mine.
OK, I want to guess, too, so here's my version .

I have gotten the impression over the last few weeks/months that PB have worked themselves into a corner that they couldn't get out of anymore. I believe that it is all related to their Genome engine that is simply fucked up beyond any hope of repair. So what they probably did is they worked on the patch and the add-on simultaneously but due to the problems with the engine, work on both projects progressed much more slowly than anticipated.

Then a development milestone (for the add-on) point was approaching quickly (maybe April 30?) and naturally JoWood wanted to see some results, possibly even a playable alpha version of the add-on. And maybe JoWood also always wanted the add-on to be ready by Q4/2007 for the x-mas shopping season.

So, at some point in April PB submits their milestone material (I think if there is no playable material then developers need to provide documentation about their progress, art assets, code fragments etc so the publisher can be sure that they aren't just playing WoW all day ) and JoWood is very unpleased with it all.
In fact, they are completely pissed off beyond any recognition because they know that this is going to end up in the usual delay crap and so they ring up PB and go "You gotta be fucking kidding me… this is all you got so far?" and PB goes "Yeah, well, you try working on an add-on and a patch simultaneously with a broken engine" … and JoWood goes "Well, the engine is your own stupid fault so cry me a river, you n00bs" and so it goes back and forth for a little bit until PB finally admits that they would have to dump their Genome engine to really get ahead and that it would be wise to work with a different engine for any future projects.
So basically they were possibly asking for a major extension of development time and thus a lot more money to pull it off.
And JoWood said "no" in the end, realizing that it would be fruitless anyway to force PB to continue working with the broken engine and that only further damage would be done if the add-on were to become similarly "unpatchable" or difficult to work with due to the G3 engine.

So JoWood considered their options, pulled the contract out of the drawer, realized that Gothic is not all lost for them, even if they break up with PB, and then they went ahead and cancelled the negotiations to look for a more professional developer for future projects in the franchise. It probably suits them quite well, too, since they can now pursue their console strategy even sooner. They are only losing out on the add-on sales after all.
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